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Do you need planning permission for a garden room?

24 May 2024

Over the last few years, garden rooms have become increasingly popular, offering versatile spaces for use as offices, gyms, or simply for relaxation. If you are thinking of adding a garden room to your home, then you might be asking yourself one important question: do you need planning permission? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about planning permission rules and permitted development rights for garden rooms. 

Is planning permission required for a garden room?

In most cases, planning permission is not required for a garden room. This is because most garden rooms are classified as outbuildings, which means they can be built on your property without needing permission. However, it’s important to note that this only applies if the building adheres to permitted development rules.

What is permitted development?

Permitted development rights allow homeowners to make certain changes to their properties without the need for planning permission, provided specific conditions are met. For outbuildings, these conditions typically include limitations on the size, height, and placement of the structure. The building must also be for incidental use i.e. an additional activity that does not impact on the primary use of the main dwelling (home). Gardenside1

Permitted development rights do not apply to flats or maisonettes. 

Planning rules for garden rooms

Planning permission for a garden room in Scotland won’t be required as long as the following conditions are met:

  • Your garden room isn’t in front of your home.
  • The structure won’t occupy more than 50% of the total area of land around your house.
  • The building isn’t higher than 4 metres for a dual-pitched roof, or 3 metres for any other type of roof.
  • It won’t be used as a separate dwelling to live in.
  • The eaves (the part where the wall meets the roof) are not higher than 3 metres.
  • If the land is in a conservation area or the grounds of a listed building, the ancillary building has a footprint of less than 4 square metres

Full details of the planning permission rules for Scotland can be found at

In what circumstances is planning permission required?

If your garden room doesn’t meet the above conditions then you will need permission before you undertake any building work. You may also need to apply for planning permission if you plan to use your garden room as an extra bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, or if you intend to run your business from it (this would typically mean hosting in-person meetings or clients).

Prior to starting any work, it’s always best to check with your local authority to see if you comply with the rules, but there’s no need to worry about this as we can handle the entire process for you as part of our installation. Our garden rooms have also been designed to meet permitted development rights.